ASU students take multi-cultural approach on patient health care

Published 12:26 am Tuesday, October 2, 2007

NATCHEZ — Students in Alcorn State University’s School of Nursing program have resorted to some very strange methods to aid their future patients.

Dressing as Indian maidens and donning togas students delved into foreign cultures to gain new insights to health-care.

“Just because it’s done differently does not make it wrong,” said Debbie McDonough interim chair for the baccalaureate-nursing program.

Email newsletter signup

McDonough cited cupping as an example of a seldom used, little know medical practice.

Cupping uses several small glass jars that are placed on the back then heated with a flame to produce suction.

Many cultures believe this will suck the toxins out of a sick person. Cupping also leaves very odd bruises.

“Students need to know how to look for these types of things,” McDonough said.

Multi-cultural day was developed several years ago to show students that a person’s cultural background can alter their course of treatment.

After researching their assigned cultures students make culture appropriate snacks and wear the traditional garb.

Even though the day is about fun students are getting the multi-cultural message.

“Someone may act offensively and not know it,” CalDonda Smith said.

“When we study these cultures we can know how people want to be treated,” Smith said.

Smith studied Russian Americans.

“They are very non-verbal. They may not complain at all,” Smith said.

According to Smith if a patient were Russian she would need to look for non-verbal indicators to their aliment.

“We want students to provide the best possible care. This helps,” McDonough said.

Local high school students considering a career in the medical field also attended this year’s multi-cultural day.

Approximately 60 students form Natchez High School were at the event.

“This gives us a chance to learn more about their backgrounds. Then they get better care,” Joseph Jones said.

Jones plans to join the Air Force after high school in order to pursue a career in the medical field.

“Culture affects care, that’s the message we want to get across,” McDonough said.